As with many issues regarding the protection of the environment, there are many myths and misinformation when it comes to water conservation. "Some things commonly believed about water conservation are so far off-base, it will benefit everyone if we set the record straight,” said Vista, Calif.-based Waterless Co. Founder and CEO Klaus Reichardt. Accordingly, following are five myths Reichardt hears frequently that he says need "a good debunking:"
- If a water crisis comes, it will mainly impact developing countries.
Countries around the world are already experiencing water crisis, and it does not just impact developing countries. High on the list of developed countries already or likely to experience a water crisis are the United States, China, Brazil, and South Africa.
- If we are the only building installing water-saving devices, it really will not make that much of a difference.
This is more than a myth; it's a cop-out. We hear this most frequently when a building owner does not want to invest in new water-efficient fixtures. But, imagine if every building on a street installs low- or no-flow fixtures. That can produce real water savings.
- Water efficiency and water conservation are the same things.
More a misunderstanding than a myth, when we conserve water, we are typically doing it short term, during a shortage. But water efficiency focuses on reducing water waste on a permanent basis.
- Most of the water consumed in the U.S. comes from rivers and lakes.
This is true – for now. However, from 2010 to 2015, the amount of water that came from aquifers (underground water) increased nearly 10 percent and the amount of water coming from surface water (rivers, lakes) decreased by almost 14 percent. "The concern is if we get too dependent on underground water, it can take generations to replenish."
- The U.S. is the most water wasteful country in the world.
This may apply to other environmental issues, but fortunately, this is a myth. Spain, Portugal, Russia, and even very dry Saudi Arabia are the most water wasteful countries in the world.